Less than a month into his presidency, Donald Trump is ducking out of the White House – just as the place crumbles around him – to hold his first campaign event of the 2020 election cycle.
That’s right; according to the Trump administration, the president’s scheduled rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport on Saturday is officially a “campaign event.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
The move by Trump to hold an official 2020 rally so soon suggests he’s desperate to change the subject after a disastrous first few weeks. It’s also the latest proof that the president is more passionate about the fanfare of a presidential campaign than he is about actually governing the country.
This is also evidenced by his unprecedented move to file 2020 paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission on the very day of his inauguration. Barack Obama submitted the same paperwork to the FEC just a year before the 2012 election.
Trump’s decision to jump back on the campaign trail is similar to what he did just after the election. Instead of working to ensure a smooth transition, he dropped into states he carried in November as part of a so-called ‘Thank You Tour.’
As The Atlantic noted on Wednesday, Trump is taking the idea of permanent campaigning to another level.
“Where his predecessors practiced electoral politics between cycles, none was willing to do so as baldly, as quickly, as Trump,” David Graham wrote for The Atlantic. “It’s at an airport, in a swing state, and it’s being advertised through his campaign website. His press secretary even called it a campaign event.”
It’s clear that what Trump really likes to do is run for president – not be the president.
As his administration continues its magnificent implosion, he’s likely to lean even more heavily on campaign-style events, where he’ll be able to surround himself with those who, for whatever reason, still support him.
Plus, at the current pace, there’s no guarantee that Trump will even be in a position to campaign for re-election in 2020. He might as well hold the events while he still can.